professional HVLP guns require around 9-15 cfm. But Don't worry, many
Serious Hobbyists and woodworkers have small compressors. 5-6 CFM seems to be common among do it yourselfers and 7-8CFM amoung serious hobbyists.
Ideally, many professional guns are
rated to run on a 20-30 gallon/5-6HP compressor which run around $260
at Sears. But we offer selections for those with smaller compressors. i.e. 1HP or 2HP Compressors
or compressors rated below 6cfm@40psi.
BIG a compressor do you need?
tool manufacturers will tell you how much air each tool needs and at what
pressure it needs it. The air is expressed
in units called "SCFM" or "CFM", or "ASCFM"
(Cubic Feet per Minute). Look at the compressor's specifications. Compressors
generally give you 2 numbers the "Displacement CFM" which is the the
raw pump power and something called "free air @ some psi"
or "delivered air" or "SCFM @ psi" which is the number
we are interested in. This number should look like this: "7.6 CFM
@ 40 PSI". Newer Paint guns generally operate at very low pressures but require
a high volume of air at lower pressure ("HVLP" means "High
Volume, Low Pressure"). So if you're painting, check the compressor's
actual air output ("free air" or "delivered air")
@ 40 PSI.
*If you only have a rating @90 psi no problem you should be able to add between 1 & 2 cfm as you drop down to 40psi depending on how good your motor is. Generally name brands have better motors, but this is not always the case.
this mean I have to have a huge compressor to run a professional gun?
This only means that you can not run your gun continuously
nonstop. In the real world, most guns rated at 7-10 CFM can be operated satisfactorily on a 2-5HP single stage compressor rated at 6.8 @ 40. Guns rated at 9-12CFM
can be operated with satisfaction on a 5-6HP single stage compressor rated
at 8.6 @ 40. Compressors rated below 6@40, we have a special
selection of professional low air guns and mini guns which operate on
as little as 3CFM@40.
@ 40 and a 20 gallon tank? Unless I were doing production work I don't
feel you need an upgrade. You can spray an AstroPneumatic Gun for example,
rated at 10cfm@40psi and it works just fine to spray four interior
six panel doors one right after the other. By the time the compressor
needs to catch up I need to give my arm a brake anyway. Or I need to refill
the cup. Once you use a professional gun like the Astro Pneumatic, I'm
sure you will like it as much as everyone else."
A small compressor? Are there any options for me?
Certainly! Compressors are simply tanks with motors which compress the
air. You can add another spare tank
that can be connected and disconnected when necessary. You can chain
compressors together with a simple Y or T fitting. Compressors are sold for
as little as $38.00 for 4cfm@40 at your local hobby stores, and you can
add a compressor to your existing getup. By the way, this is a way to avoid a 220V outlet. You can run an extension cord from another socket connected to a separate
fuse and chain units.
Why not a spray gun with a lower CFM rating to match my compressor? I see many such guns at my local home improvement store.
Simple, it's the air that breaks up the paint. Professionals
use about 10-15CFM to break up paint in order to get the highest atomization.
At SprayGunWorld, we focus on professional guns used by particular professionals
and serious hobbyists like yourself. Analogy: Low CFM guns act
like cars with 4 cylinders. At SprayGunWorld, we focus on 8 cylinder professional cars (models). Low CFM Guns require superb engineering and precise manufacturing
to compensate for a lack of power in a "4 cylinder car". Which generally means you are paying more for less performance and more orange peel, etc. Yes, you figured it out. the inexpensive low CFM guns at your local store not only don't have the power of an 8cylinder model, but they also don't have the precision engineering that is required to compensate for the lack of power. Most people call us after throwing away their porter cable or ingersoll rang spray gun. We only focus on guns a professional would use. 8cylinders so to speak.
out of luck with a small compressor? No, while we encourage you to get the largest compressor you can afford or fit. We also searched far and wide for the finest low
CFM guns on market. We have created low CFM gun sections for those
who have small compressors but want a no compromise finish. We have looked for high quality,
mostly USA made options. Our offerings are limited to what we consider
the finest low air guns on the market with - all with precision manufacturing.
In a way, you could consider them 6 cylinder cars.
What if I don't have a compressor what should I purchase.
We recommend purchasing the most CFM you can afford. Realistically, a great professional starting point would be the 7-8cfm models found at your local DIY centers. A unit we like here is the 5-6HP compressor 8.6 CFM @ 40PSI craftmen around $260 at Sears. You can also look at similar units at places like Home Depot of 7.2 CFM@40PSI
and the like.